Ericsson’s Polish 5G factory makes its millionth radio module
Ericsson has just produced its millionth 5G radio products at the Flex Tczew factory in Poland as its bid to maintain continuity in the teeth of a shareholder revolt led by US legal firms and activist investors. The new polish made products are at the heart of the fifth-generation networks being built in Poland and other European countries, according to an Ericsson release. Sweden’s flagship telecoms hardware maker has promised to start production of the latest generation of radio, the dual-band Radio 4490, which consumes 25% less power and is lighter than the current product.
The main products of its Tczew factory are basebands and radio modules, which can be combine to form the 5G base station. The radio module modulates the radio signal, which is sent to the antenna to transmit and receive radio waves. RAN Compute, Ericsson’s baseband system, is connected to the radio module over fibre optic and is responsible for data processing in the base station. Three years ago Ericsson moved production of its 5G radios to the Tczew factory run by its production partner Flex.
“Today we have reached a significant milestone with the millionth 5G radio product rolling off the production line,” says Martin Mellor, Head of Ericsson in Poland. “I would like to thank our hardworking team and our partner Flex for making it happen. In a very short time Tczew has become one of the company’s main production operations, supporting our customers with 5G network rollouts across Europe.”
Poles have radio rozum
The Ericsson R&D Centre in Kraków and Łódź has 1,800 employees, making it the company’s second largest R&D centre in Europe after Sweden. Ericsson Poland is currently expanding and looking for new employees with the goal of hiring 350 people within a year. Its engineers in Poland work with major clients around the world, creating software that enables mobile communication on multiple continents. “We appreciate the trust Ericsson has placed in Flex. Our advanced manufacturing and the technical expertise of our talented team in Poland for 20 years will unleash the promise of 5G,” says Stanisław Motylski, General Manager of Flex’s factory in Tczew.
Supply chain metamorphosis
Ericsson is re-shaping its supply chain to its European, Asian, and American markets as relations with China become more uneasy. In October both Ericsson and Nokia were frozen out of a billion euro China Mobile tender of the type that they would have previously been major suppliers. In October 2020 Sweden banned Huawei and ZTE from participation in its 5G network building. In July it was reported that Ericsson won a contract to supply 5G networking to US telco Verizon worth $8.3 billion (€9.199 billion). Its record contract win may have come at the expense of Huawei.
In January Sweden’s Supreme Administrative Court dismissed an appeal by Huawei to prevent 5G spectrum auctions going ahead that stipulate the winning bidders cannot deploy the Chinese vendor’s equipment.
Ericsson’s main production operations are now in the US, Brazil, Mexico, India, China, Poland, Romania, and Estonia. Estonia and Poland are Ericsson’s major supply facilities to deliver 5G in Europe.